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Assemble a HHO Mini Torch from plumbing parts

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Picture of Assemble a HHO Mini Torch from plumbing parts
flame1.JPG
flame2.JPG
Using plumbing parts, consisting of some compression and some solder fittings with the addition of a  ½"  L.P. gas hosetail, its possible to make a very servicable HHO gas torch.
The temps are very low and so solder fittings will work, they also serve to keep the weight down by reducing the number of heavy brass fittings needed.
My cell produces 1 lpm so the standard mig tip will need to be made smaller and we will cover that mod later on.
 
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Step 1: Parts and exploded view

Picture of Parts and exploded view
The standard 15mm plumbing fittings are...
  1. 6 inches 15mm copper tube
    • 1" section between stopend and elbow.
    • 1 ¼ " section between the coupler and the ball valve.( length is 30mm but 32mm seats well)
    • remaining approx 4" between the elbow and ball valve.
  2. 15mm copper stopend.
  3. 15mm copper 90 ° elbow.
  4. coupler FIxC 15mm x ½ "
  5. ½ " BSP hosetail which is a standard LP gas fitting.
  6. mini ball valve compression fittings on both ends.
  7. mig welder tip either 0.8mm or 0.9mm which will be modified.
  8. a brass nut M6x1.9 for the mig tip.
The mig tip has a metric thread M6x1.0 mm, so you will need to drill and tap suitable material if you dont have a M6 brass nut at hand.


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PS1181 year ago
I'm very interested in this. Particularly the fact that you can create a blowtorch that can (indirectly) burn on electricity. Of course it wouldn't make sense for heating, but as a tool.

In fact, unlike organic-combustion torches, you'd run less risk of inadvertently carbourizing your metal.

So I'm curious. How hot is this compared to standard torches? (propane/mapp/acetylene...) Also, how even is the flame?

Also, I really like your electrolysis cell. I don't know how the hose attaches, but maybe another flashback suppressor inside the cell would be a good safety feature as well.
PS118 PS1181 year ago
One more idea. Instead of using the valve to regulate the flame, could you vary the voltage to the producer cell? I'm just thinking that could eliminate some potentially exhilarating mistakes.
Notbob PS1182 months ago

I know its been about a year since you posted this, and I'm sure you've probably forgotten about it long ago...

The ideal/perfect scenario for an Oxyhydrogen flame temperature is ~2800 degC. In practise the temperature can be actually a bit lower b/c of mixing with atmospheric air (which is needed to avoid an oxidizing flame). I think some sources quote 2100+ degC on the low end of the range of flame temperatures, but I suspect this is a bit conservative.

Varying the power to the cell would work to reduce the gas output, but you wouldn't have the fine/immediate control that you get with the valve as things currently are set up in this instructable. A good solution (in my opinion) would by to incorporate both systems, using the valve for quick changes, and varying the voltage for changes in the longer time frame.

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask any more questions if you have them.

Pader PS1181 year ago
Eagle Research in America designs and manufactures commercial HHO welding units. It also publishes it's findings to enable anybody to build their units. One thing that is particularly of note in this respect is that 'blowback' normally only occurs as the gas pressure is gradually reduced, enabling the gas to follow the diminishing gas column back down the gas pipe. The ball valve in this instructable is certainly in conformity with this way of thinking as the gas goes from full pressure to off in just 90 degrees of turning instead of multiple turns of a threaded valve. A ball valve is by far, the ideal solution. By all means, use a multi-turn pipe to set up pressure before the ball valve but, the ball valve must ultimately be used to cut the gas off immediately and extinguish the flame at the torch.
Pader Pader1 year ago
I noticed an error in my reply. 'the gas pressure is gradually reduced, enabling the gas to follow the diminishing gas column' should read: 'the gas pressure is gradually reduced, enabling the FLAME to follow the diminishing gas column'.
petercd (author)  PS1181 year ago
If you hold it on anything long enough it glows red then white and turns to ash, provided of course that you have either a big enough flame or the item being melted is small enough. Directing the flame on my vice just produces water but directed on a small ball bearing quickly has it red hot and then melting. This cell produces a flame length of 50mm and the outlet hose attaches on the lid which was removed for pic and cleaning purposes.

The ball valve isnt used for flame regulation in this case, but shutting off the flame prior to switching off the cell. Voltage regulation to the cell isnt a good idea due to the fact that 2V is required for conventional electrolysis, more voltage causes heat resulting in steam and less voltage results in minimal output. The output regulation trend is to use more cells in a switchable config, ie a 48 plate cell where 12 plates are used during idle conditions but more plates can be switched in as demand increases up to the full 48 plate stack.
Kiteman1 year ago
How did you generate enough hydrogen and oxygen to feed the torch?

Why is your flame bright yellow? Stoichiometric hydrogen/oxygen* flames are normally almost invisible to the human eye, emitting mostly ultra violet light.


*So-called "HHO" is actually a stoichiometric mixture of 2 parts hydrogen and one part oxygen by volume.
i agree. however initially i thought this whole thing was photo shopped because of the uniformity of the flame but further investigation suggested otherwise, first i went and scrutinized the image because it was not casting an appropriate amount of light for a flame that size. after that i got the metadata for the images and it checked out, then i did a quick search for hho torches and they also matched pretty closely with color, directional nature of the flame and what-not so if it is a fake, its a damn fine one at that
torch_flame.pngmeta.png
petercd (author)  kyle brinkerhoff1 year ago
Definitely not fake, heres another one for the files. :)
On this yellow flame issue, I've cleaned the cell replaced the caustic soda electrolyte and still get the yellow flame, even tried different focus modes on the camera to no avail. Anyhow nice work on the well researched comment, patch sent. :)
dual cell flame.JPG
try changing your hydrogen/oxygen levels
petercd (author)  my wookie1 year ago
I'm working with water... H2o, so Im pretty much stuck with those levels right there.

It's an electrolytic cell, voltage applied to stainless steel plates to seperate the H and O in the water, hence my misnomer HHO. Due to the fact that pure water doesnt conduct electricty in this application, I have to add a catalyst (sodium hydroxide) and the general consensus is that is causing the yellow flame color.
have you tried using hydrogen peroxide?
petercd (author)  my wookie1 year ago
no, nor baking soda or any of the other weird kitchen concotions some folks think of.
The standard was either caustic soda( my first choice) or potassium hydroxide, new on the scene seems to be exotic mixes of those 2 with citric acid and urea, goes by the name of E-22.
actually i meant to use that with or instead of water to change your hydrogen/ oxygen levels
Hydrogen peroxide doesn't break down by electrolysis, but by decomposition to hydrogen and water. No oxygen.
Ttalos Kiteman4 months ago

It actually decomposes into water and O2.

Kiteman Ttalos4 months ago

Oops, yes, my bad.

petercd (author)  my wookie1 year ago
You're kidding right? :) Chemistry isnt like math, you dont get more hydrogen by adding peroxide, you might get something nasty, besides peroxide is 2H2O so then technically it stays the same.
i don't mean to argue, but its actually H2O2 (underscore on the 2's) 2H2O would not have a bond between the atoms

and it actually does yield more oxygen...
oh by the way, for those of you who are worried about safety this is a super simple way to take care of any concerns you have http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXEGzKHjklE
got the patch, thanks!
Actually, I was wondering if he wasn't burning pure hydrogen/oxygen, but had something else contaminating the mix...
Flame color looks like sodium to me and caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) electrolyte makes sense. The gas is just contaminated with a trace amounts of sodium.
Thanks Kiteman, I was reluctant to ask what the heck is HHO.

I'm with Mikry on sodium causing the yellow color. Classic test for sodium. Hydrogen flame is clear, correct?
Correct. They're quite bright in the UV spectrum, though, so I'm not sure how hazardous they are to your sight. I'd wear dark goggles, to be on the safe side.
pheenix424 months ago

Nice indeed! Do you happen to have a video clip of this torch in action? It's exactly what I've been looking around for!

tesla man1 year ago
I am planning on building a dry HHO cell torch that produces about 1-2 lpm. Do you think that this would be hot enough to melt table salt? (Table salt has a melting point of about 1,500 degrees F). Thanks.
petercd (author)  tesla man1 year ago
Sure will, its only if you dont have enough volume ( LPM ) and the substance is able to shed its heat faster than you can apply it, will it fail to melt. ie small flame on a big chunk of aluminium
Thanks again
mickeypop1 year ago
I've been using a Brown Gas torch for several years and just used a modified Aceteline torch head, but you left out one small bit.

In the mig tip stuff with some steel wool fairly tight.  The gas will go thru it just fine. 

It will prevent a back flash if the gas pressure ever gets too low and offers a great deal of extra safety.
.

petercd (author)  mickeypop1 year ago
Yip, I covered that in step3, bronze wool not steel wool, stuffing it in the body(4" piece before the elbow) and the pic of the screen and washer was the attempt to stop the bronze wool from sliding back into the ball valve.

I havent tried steel wool due to the corrosion issue which might block the mig tip.
try it with stainless steel wool?
the steel wool is simply to create a spark arrester to prevent flashback into the tank
gloflyer1 year ago
First, thank you for sharing this article. Water torches are not new. If you look at the Rio Grande web site, you will see that a commercially produced torch for jewelry indeed does use hypodermic needles for torch tips.
http://www.riogrande.com/Product/Hydroflux-Welding-Machine/500200?Pos=3
Bigger water torches are also used in NYC. It is illegal to use an acetylene torch when doing remodeling, repairs, etc., because of the dangers of having acetylene around. ANY torch can be dangerous. If it wasn't, it probably could not do the job that it was required to do.
Awhile ago, I really wanted a water torch. - No hassles with gas running out, No storing of tanks. I currently have 4 torches. 1. an acetylene air, that I love, but only use out side.2. A propane weed burner that can anneal stuff in a hurry. (Also outside) 3. A small Hoke propane oxygen torch that is very adjustable and allows me to fuse 22g chain links. 4. A small butane torch - that no longer use.

My point in listing these is that each kind is different, each kind has its own safety issues, and you need to familiarize yourself with the safe operation of each kind.

Once again, thank you for a great instructable.

Just curious, what are you going to use it for?
nice site book marked it. cuase ill be looking in to smelting alumuim soon i hope.
petercd (author)  gloflyer1 year ago
When I first heard of the water torches and all the amazing stuff they can do, I did the rounds of local jewelsmiths, but they all used mini traditional gas outfits, so I decided to make my own. I like experimenting with its various aspects also wanted to pop one into the car/bike but got sidetracked with life in general. I also have a range of differing heat applications. :) very handy
skaar1 year ago
perhaps a well isolated switch in the handle, when the valve closes all the way it trips a relay off. to turn it back on you go back to the generator. a secondary switch on a membrane that bulges at high pressure too.
petercd (author) 1 year ago
13 x 150mm x 130mm plates in a dual 6 series cell config, as for the yellow flame, dunno beats me, maybe contaminated by the gasket seal. Theres a lot of muck in the electrolyte and the whole cell needs a good cleaning again.
dual side.jpg
On the system I built years ago, I use a 3 stage filter i built (never found it pre-made).

1st out of the tank is a spark arrester made from 3.5 inch long 1.5 in diameter PVC tube, 2 caps and PLASTIC barb connectors don't use metal barbs here, 2 pieces of plastic screen to hold in the sand and silica sand.    People in the HHO community use these an cars allot.    The gas goes thru just fine but stops the electrolyte from escaping the tank.
   
2nd stage is a simple bubbler to clean the gas

last i use a Stanley Propane Torch gas dryer trap from Lowes for around $10 US.

this combo makes for a nice "clean" flame and i don't loose any electrolyte or worry about the electrolyte getting onto my work piece.

By the by;  the flame is blue

.
rimar20001 year ago
Very interesting and useful, thanks for sharing it.

Can you find a 45° code instead of that 90°? I think it would be more comfortable.
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